Thursday, June 30, 2016

Dear Sophie

Dear Sophie,

This week you would be 5 years old.

I can imagine we would have had cake and ice cream, maybe a trip to Build-a-Bear.

I am confident you would be sweet and precocious and a joy to your older siblings as well as your father and I.

When it is quiet at night, like tonight, and everyone is asleep, I can almost hear the pitter-patter of your little feet running through the house and your sweet, melodic giggles.

There is a hole in my heart that will never be filled. At least not in my lifetime here on earth. Every day I grieve your loss. I grieve the life that I had growing inside me, but never got to hold. I grieve the loss of all of the wonderful memories we would have made. I grieve the loss of your life here on earth. But, I know you are in a better place.

I believe that my sweet grandparents, who never got to meet your brother and sisters, are there with you, and this brings me great comfort.

It has been over 5 years since we got the devastating news that you would not be born alive here on earth. I will never stop grieving. I will never be whole. But I will be okay. And I will have joy and peace even in the face of such loss and grief.

Happy Birthday, baby girl!

Until we meet again,


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Love In Action

There is this friend of mine. She is pretty amazing. Sweet, funny, smart.

But mostly, she is living her faith in a way I rarely witness. She is a shining example of Christ's love in action.

It has been a rough couple of months for our family-surgeries, travel, illness all accompanied by exhaustion.

Today, as I was texting with this friend from my husband's hospital room (he is recovering from surgery), she kindly asked if I needed anything-to which I responded "I am good...unless you know a cleaning fairy!" (please note this was entirely in jest as we all know cleaning fairies are simply the adult version of the tooth fairy).

At this point I should tell you that this friend of mine has just returned from a week-long mission trip and has four children of her own to care for.

So, imagine my surprise (and God's perfect timing) as I pulled into the parking lot of my apartment complex after spending four hours at the hospital to see her pulling in as well!  She shouted out her window "the cleaning fairies are here!". 

I went upstairs, sat on my bed, and bawled.

While I settled in-changing clothes, eating lunch, getting started on some work-she and her children (and my children as well) tidied, vacuumed, took out trash, did dishes, cleaned toilets and did laundry.

Y'all. I have no words.

This is love in action. This is Christ's church caring for the body of believers.

Thank you, my sweet friend.



Monday, June 27, 2016

The Other Side of the Coin

There is no doubt who the strong, dependable, reliable, and steady one is in our husband takes that title hands down.

I am more along the lines of broken, unreliable (due to my chronic illness) and maybe even a bit flaky. I definitely don't see myself as strong by any stretch of the imagination.

This guy. He has sat through countless doctor appointments, ER visits, surgeries, and medical procedures. He takes care of me. Makes sure I get the help I need...or at least tries his best.

But today I was on the other side of the coin.

He was the one in the hospital gown on the gurney getting prepped for surgery. He was the one in pain. He was the one whose hurt I can't fix.

I have so much more appreciation for him (not that I didn't have plenty of that before!). While many days I struggle to manage with my chronic illness, I never understood what it was like to desperately want to take a loved one's pain away from them and not be able to.

Today, I understand.

I am not good on the flip side of this coin. I am weepy and emotional. I am broken-hearted. The idea of spending two more nights without him by my side tears me apart. The thought of him being in pain and alone in the hospital rips my heart to shreds.

I have to be completely candid here. I am worn. My broken, busted body that is exhausted every day from fighting this chronic illness, is just not up to the challenge.  If it were not for very dear friends that are more like family, I am not sure what I would do. Even then, just the hours spent at the hospital and running back and forth have completely drained me of all of my energy....and then some.

So many times I have had to put on a brave smile in the face of excruciating pain, crippling anxiety, and mind-numbing exhaustion. But so far, I have persevered. I have no choice-the man who is always my rock needs me to be his now and that, my friends, is a no-brainer.

This guy I love. This man I married. This amazing, kind, strong man has spent years caring for me, now it's my turn-ready or not.

I can't hope to come close to what he does for me on a daily basis, but I can pour into him during this time.